Everyone wants a piece of Rosemary Ellis. Her husband, her high-maintenance kid, her pregnant friend, the neighbor with the scary husband, the lonely guy with cancer, the local water-fight forces. Of course she should give all she has to give. It’s what women do, right?
With stark insight and wry humor, Love and Death in a Perfect World follows the arc of a modern woman’s life from tender adolescence to hard-edged middle age, offering a fresh, honest look at women’s lives today.
But the blessed existence she has always seen in her mind’s eye—with its intact family, organic food, and solar-powered house—fails to manifest. Instead of “right livelihood” in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a perfect world populated by enlightened people, she is confronted with a thorny marriage, a son she no longer understands, and a string of disturbing losses. If this is the right way to live, then why is it so hard?
Against a backdrop of birth and death, financial turmoil, and environmental clashes, Love and Death in a Perfect World explores deep questions about human nature and modern life: How do we find connection in fractured middle-class America? How do we navigate a world that does not behave as promised? And where do we find the strength to rebuild our lives when expectations are shattered and the “wrong” people win?
In Love and Death in a Perfect World, first-time novelist Barbara Gerber delivers a richly textured yet unsentimental portrait of a family that keeps on keeping on, and of a woman who expects to “live in the light” but must instead fight to find her own light in the darkness of everyday life.
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